Emerson's Retirement Could Force Taxpayers to Pay For Special Election

6 years 8 months 1 week ago Friday, December 07 2012 Dec 7, 2012 Friday, December 07, 2012 4:03:00 PM CST December 07, 2012 in News
By: Danny Spewak
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Jo Ann Emerson's decision to retire Monday from the U.S. House of Representatives means Missouri's 8th District will need to hold a special election to fill her vacant seat.

The timing of her decision could cost Missourians hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars.

Emerson (R-Mo), who won re-election a month ago but now plans to retire in February, could leave counties in the 8th District scrambling if Gov. Jay Nixon chooses not to put the election on the April 2013 ballot. If he schedules the election for another date, each county would need to hold separate elections with only one ballot issue and pay for the costs of ballot printing, election judges, polling locations, absentee ballots and other expenses.

Emerson's 8th congressional district in Missouri includes 27 counties in the southeast portion of the state, and several county clerks offered rough estimates Friday for the cost of a separate special election. The state of Missouri reimburses each county for the elections, but the money ultimately falls on taxpayers across the state, no matter the congressional district. In larger counties such as Phelps and Cape Girardeau, the total cost could approach six figures combined. Phelps County Clerk Carol Bennett estimated a cost of $65,000 to $75,000 for a non-April special election, and Joey Keys in Cape Giradeau County estimated a similar total ranging from $60,000 to $65,000. 

In Dent County, which consists of about 15,000 people, Angie Curley estimated a special election could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000. 

The constitution grants Gov. Nixon the power to schedule a special election. Press Secretary Scott Holste said the governor has no timetable on that decision, and he said a "number of things" factor into whether to hold an election in April or at another time. He would not specifically comment on whether Gov. Nixon would consider the cost of county elections in his decision. 

KOMU 8 News contacted Jo Ann Emerson's office in Washington, D.C., and the office referred us to the email of a media contact. Jeffrey Connor declined to comment on possible costs of a special election for Emerson's seat.

"The special election will be set by the Governor of Missouri," Connor said in the email.

Emerson announced she will accept a position as president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. According to OpenSecrets.org, NRECA is the largest contributing organization to Emerson's campaign fund since she joined Congress in 1996.

Emerson, who turned 62 in September, is now also eligible to collect a full and immediate pension under the Federal Employees' Retirement System. Federal employees of at least 62 years of age may collect the pension if they have five years of service. At age 50, employees become eligible for full and immediate pension with 20 years of service. 

Connor said Emerson's pension was not a factor in her decision to retire. 

Several county clerks gave KOMU 8 News rough estimates for special election costs in the 8th-district congressional race. If Gov. Nixon schedules that election on the April 2013 ballot, the figures will drop significantly. Some clerks were either out of the office on Friday or not comfortable giving figures yet, but here's a list compiling estimates from several county clerks. The list varies significantly depending on county population.

Cape Girardeau County: $60,000 to $65,000

Carter County: $10,000

Dent County: $10,00 to $12,000

New Madrid County: $27,000 to $30,000

Oregon County: $7,000

Perry County: $20,000

Phelps County: $65,000 to $75,000

Reynolds County: $15,000

Washington County: $10,000 to $15,000

Wayne County: $30,000

Wright County: $15,000

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The man who allegedly killed a woman who has been missing since 2006 arrived in Boone County Tuesday... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:28:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
CAMDENTON - One person has minor burns after a fire Tuesday evening at an auto shop in Camdenton. According... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:07:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Businesses who are applying for their medical marijuana licenses in Columbia are one step closer after Monday night's... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Finding the perfect parking spot can be a hassle, but it can be even more difficult if you... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:30:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Construction crews are continuing to work on both Jefferson City public high schools in preparation for classes... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:45:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
VIENNA - Multiple suspects are currently being questioned after officials said someone intentionally started the house fire leading to an... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:59:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The FEMA recovery center for Cole County closed its doors Tuesday. The center helped hundreds of... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:51:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — State officials say an improving economy is one of several factors that led to close to... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:39:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An increased focus on climate change from legislature and activists has prompted utilities providers to implement renewable energies... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 2:09:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A group of Missouri protesters are taking a stand against self-driving trucks in the state. Over 29... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:47:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge issued a restraining order Monday against Senate Bill 391, regarding regulation of concentrated... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS — Major League Soccer has awarded the next expansion franchise to St. Louis, where a new downtown stadium... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:33:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY — A former teacher at a Catholic school in Kansas City alleges in a lawsuit that she was... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:15:00 AM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County FEMA Disaster Relief Center in Jefferson City is wrapping up operations on Tuesday, but... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:04:00 AM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Department of Health and Senior Services received over 2,100 medical marijuana facility applications by the deadline.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 7:37:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Going grocery shopping Tuesday could impact more than just your own home. Lucky's Market and The Food Bank... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 6:26:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital announced and signed a partnership to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 3:40:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -- The Jefferson City Memorial Airport could face demolition after suffering major flood damages. Airport officials are... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 2:08:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
11pm 79°
12am 78°
1am 78°
2am 77°